Buzzing in the Beehive: The Highs of Youth Parliament

There is something about glowing pride that renders it indescribable.

Words simply cannot do justice to the emotions that lie under the surface of a proud moment.

A moment which transcends the realisation of a dream and makes all worldly characteristics vanish in the vacuum of reality.

As the flight landed in what they call windy Wellington, it dawned upon me that the following two days would be like something I had never experienced before.

Something which would live with me for years to come.

Whisked off to Parliament on a chartered bus, we got talking. ‘Aaron Dahmen, Tamaki, Simon O’Connor’, would become my signature for the next 48 hours. A quick briefing and suddenly we were in the debating chamber, the house, the place where important decisions are made.

We began Question Time, a chance to interrogate the present ministers, before launching ourselves through the hallowed building to meetings in our various select committees. How to improve outcomes of children with teen parents was what our group investigated, hearing from submissions, and coming to a final published report the following morning.

And then, as day two moved towards lunch, the chance to have my say arrived. To make an impact where it truly matters — in the heart of New Zealand politics.

11.02am

Aaron Dahmen, representing Simon O’Connor

“Thank you Mr Speaker…

..I am voting in favour of the Law Reform Bill, as I believe it is an ethical obligation. I believe it is our duty to extend the New Zealand Government Web Accessibility Standard and further support it by actively looking to pass related legislation in the future. I don’t believe it’s a matter of choice, but a matter of social and democratic responsibility…”

My heartbeat rose. Something moved within as I concluded my presentation, sitting down as others stepped up in the distance. An ovation — merci beaucoup!

Blurs.

Cheers.

A beautiful cacophony of white noise…

Back to reality.

Although such an emotion was only present for seconds at a time, the emotive stimulation was incredible. I had never felt anything like it.

And it was then and there, that I realised; this was me.

Speaking, working, living — for those who need a voice.

As youth parliament moved on, concluding with a special closing ceremony, the moment stayed…

right then, right there…

quite simply…

amazing.

#NZYP16 created an experience that was brilliant, inspirational and politically thrilling. It facilitated a moment of pride which, quite simply, left me lost for words, much like a bee after its first and final sting.

Buzzing in the Beehive, I guess.